bible

The most complete and reliable way God has spoken to people is through the Bible. God directed certain people at specific times to write the Bible through His Spirit1. This means that in its original writing, the Bible is complete2 and all of it is what God wanted it to say3. It is also without error down to the forms of the words used4. Although the original writings of the Bible are no longer available, God has promised to preserve His Word to the end of time5. God has accomplished this through the preservation of reliable copies of the original writings. Since the Bible is from God, it is the ultimate authority in life and therefore directs our thinking and actions3. The Bible is divided into two major parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament was written before Jesus’ birth, and the New Testament was written after His birth. One of the key differences between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible is the Old Testament’s emphasis on God’s relationship with the Jewish nation of Israel and the New Testament’s emphasis on God’s relationship with the Church. Although the Church has become the focus of God’s work in this time, God will someday revive Israel spiritually as a nation and will fulfill the promises He made to them in the Old Testament6. The theme of the Bible is God’s ongoing pursuit of a love relationship with people, despite their rejection of Him and His standards. This theme is seen best in Jesus and His death for the sins of everyone7


1) 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2) Revelation 22:18-19; 3) 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4) 1 Corinthians 2:13 and Galatians 3:16; 5) 1 Peter 1:25; 6) Romans 11:25-29; 7) 1 Peter 1:10-12

GOD

God’s existence and loving nature are evident in the world around us1. He is better understood by seeing how He is described in the Bible. However, since God is infinite, He is beyond our understanding2. The Bible tells us there is one God3, but describes Him as existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit4.

God the Father - He is Father over creation5 and all people6. He has a special fatherly relationship with Jesus7 and those who have trusted in Jesus8

God the Son - Jesus is the Son of God9. When He became human, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin10. Though He was fully human11, He was fully God12 at the same time and never did anything sinful. He was executed on a cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all people13. Three days after His death, He rose from the dead to establish that those who have trusted in Jesus will rise to eternal life14. Jesus returned to Heaven15 and has been given a place of honor where He represents us before the Father16. Someday He will return to take those who have trusted Him for forgiveness of their sins to Heaven with Him17. Later, He will return to the Earth to judge all people and rule the Earth18

God the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is fully God19. Although He was active prior to Jesus’ return to Heaven20, He began working in new ways after that event that are both predicted by Jesus21 and described by His followers. Today, God sends the Holy Spirit to live in everyone who has trusted Jesus22. It is through the Holy Spirit that God influences people in an unseen way. Living in us, He teaches us21; prays with us23; directs us24; assigns us work25; gives us new life26; guarantees our eternity with God27; and brings about positive changes in our attitudes28. The Holy Spirit also gives us special abilities to accomplish His work29. For the Holy Spirit to best do His work in us, we must give Him complete control of our lives30. The Holy Spirit is also active in the world helping all people see that they need forgiveness from their sins21. Miraculous Languages - During the transitional period from the Old Testament into the New Testament, God demonstrated that the words of Jesus’ early followers were from God by performing many confirming miracles. This included a miraculous ability to speak in known languages that were unknown to the speaker. This ability was never common to all followers of Jesus or necessary to demonstrate the Holy Spirit’s presence in a person31. Descriptions of God’s character include loving32, holy33, and never changing34. His abilities include knowing everything35, being everywhere in Heaven and Earth at the same time36, able to do anything37, and always existing38. God created everything39; God holds everything together40; and everything exists to bring Him pleasure41. Everything we do should bring glory to God42


1) Romans 1:18-20; 2) Psalm 145:3; 3) Deuteronomy 6:4; 4) Matthew 28:19; 5) Ephesians 3:14-15; 6) Acts 17:28-29; 7) John 3:16; 8) John 1:12;  9) Luke 1:35; 10) Matthew 1:18; 11) Hebrews 2:14; 12) John 1:1-2; 13) 2 Corinthians 5:21; 14) 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 15) Acts 1:9-11; 16) Romans 8:34; 17) John 14:2-3; 18) Matthew 25:31-34; 19) Isaiah 6:8-9 with Acts 28:25-26; 20) Genesis 1:2 and 41:38; 21) John 14:16-26, 16:7-15; 22) John 7:37-39; 23) Romans 8:26; 24) Galatians 5:18; 25) Acts 13:2; 26) John 3:5-6; 27) Ephesians 4:30; 28) Galatians 5:22-23; 29) 1 Corinthians 12:1-7; 30) Ephesians 5:18; 31) 1 Corinthians 12:30; 32) 1 John 4:8; 33) 1 Peter 1:16; 34) Malachi 3:6; 35) Psalm 147:4, 5; 36) Psalm 139:7-10; 37) Matthew 19:26; 38) Psalm 90:2; 39) Genesis 1:1; 40) Colossians 1:17; 41) Revelation 4:11; 42) 1 Corinthians 10:31

Satan

Satan is a being that was created by God1. He was created to be one of God’s angels2, but rebelled against God by wanting to be equal with Him3. He entices people to rebel against God as he did4 and deceives people from recognizing the truth5. He battles against followers of God6 and accuses them of sins before God7. God will one day condemn him to eternal punishment8.



1) Colossians 1:16; 2) Ezekiel 28:14; 3) Isaiah 14:12-17; 4) Genesis 3:1-15; 5) 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 6) Job 2:7; 7) Revelation 12:10; 8) Revelation 20:10

Humanity

God created the first man and woman. Unlike the other parts of God’s creation, He created them in His likeness1. This similarity to God is the reason human life is valued above other forms of life2, and we are commanded to love the people around us3. God created them with the freewill to choose obedience to Him or rebellion against God, and they chose rebellion4. This began a process of spiritual and physical death in them and their descendants. It also caused all their descendants to be born with an inability to successfully obey God in both attitude and action5


1) Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:7; 2) Genesis 9:6; 3) James 3:9; 4) Genesis 3:1-6; 5) Romans 5:12-19

Sin and Its Remedy 

Any action or inaction, thought, or motive that fails to meet God’s perfect standard is sin, and all people sin1. God’s holiness will not allow Him to overlook even a single sin2, thus preventing all people from being with God. God solved this problem by sending His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of death for the sins of all humanity3. When people believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection and trust in Jesus’ payment for their sins, they are forgiven for all their sins and receive eternal life as a gift from God4. At death, the souls of those who have trusted in Jesus immediately enjoy being in His presence5. God promises that our forgiveness and eternal life can never be lost6. He also tells us that there is no other method for being with God except through trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins7


1) Romans 3:23; 2) Revelation 21:27; 3) Isaiah 53:6, Romans 5:9-18, and 1 Peter 2:24; 4) John 3:16, Romans 3:22 and 6:23; 5) 2 Corinthians 5:8;

6) John 5:24 and 10:28-29; 7) John 14:6

The Church

The Church is made up of all the people who have trusted in Jesus.1 The purpose of the Church is to be Christ’s body, carrying out God’s work in the world today. His work is done through His people (“the Church”); through the power of the Holy Spirit, under God’s direction; and in obedience
 to Christ, who is the head of the Church2. This work includes inviting others to be followers of Jesus3; gathering to help each other grow closer to God4; guiding people to God’s truth in the Bible5; using our God-given abilities for the benefit of the entire body of Christ6; meeting the needs of those around us7; and attracting others to Jesus through unity8 and right actions9. The Church is commanded to perform two significant practices: baptism3 and communion10. Both are symbolic of our dependence on Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of sin but are not a means of receiving that forgiveness. 


1) 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2) Colossians 1:18; 3) Matthew 28:19-20; 4) Hebrews 10:24-25; 5) Ephesians 4:11-14; 6) 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 

7) James 1:27; 8) John 17:20-21; 9) Matthew 5:14-16; 10) 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Future

The Bible describes many future events. Given God’s control and knowledge of all things, we know these prophecies will come true. Jesus will one day gather His followers and take them to Heaven. This will include those that have already died and those that are living1. All who are taken to Heaven will be given new bodies, like Jesus, reuniting body, soul, and spirit to live with Him forever2. Following this, those left on the Earth will experience the worst time of suffering ever known3. The suffering will come in the form of natural disasters4 and unrestrained evil5. This time will come to an end when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on Earth for one thousand years6. Every person who has ever lived will be judged. Those who have not received God’s gift of forgiveness will be separated from God and punished for eternity7. God’s people will enjoy eternity with Him.8


1) 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2) Phillipians 3:20, 21; 3) Matthew 24:15-22; 4) Revelation 6-19; 5) 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7; 

6) Revelation 19:11–20:7; 7) 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 20:11-15; 8) Matthew 25:46 and Revelation 21:1-7